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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Using Carbon and C++ Code Together

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Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Hello Reader, Google recently introduced a new language called 'Carbon.' Are you familiar with it? If not, let me acknowledge you with Carbon as a successor of C++.

C++, the C programming language's successor, is undoubtedly one of the most powerful languages available today. 

using carbon and c++ code together

C++ is an older object-oriented programming language with a flexible design and broad compatibility. But now Carbon is designed to have bidirectional interoperability with C++.

Let's find its meaning and code in both languages in one program.

Carbon Programming Language

Carbon, also known as Carbon-lang, was introduced as an open-source, experimental descendant of C++. Although many other programming languages exist, C++ is the most popular among developers. It is used by more than 4.4 million developers worldwide. Carbon, C++'s successor, was launched in July 2022 to address some of C++'s flaws. Carbon was introduced on July 19, 2022, at the CPP North C++ conference in Toronto by Google engineer Chandler Carruth.


Google initiated this project. It is currently accepting developer contributions on GitHub. You might wonder why Google created a new language rather than improving C++.

This is because changing C++ is difficult, even for a large corporation like Google. 

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Carbon vs. C++

Millions of developers worldwide rely on C++, but there are some areas where C++ could be improved that Carbon intends to address. Carbon and C++ are similar in that they are both object-oriented and statically typed languages. There are, however, several distinctions between them. The following are the significant differences between Carbon and C++:

carbon vs. c++
  • Carbon is less challenging to learn than C++, one of the most difficult programming languages.
  • Carbon is a more expressive language than C++. By "expressive," we mean "easy-to-write code, understood by both the compiler and a human reader."
  • Carbon's goal is to improve memory safety, which is a significant issue in C++.
  • Carbon has a modern generics system that C++ does not have. Opt-in templates, on the other hand, are still supported for easy C++ interoperability.

Now, let us look at the features of this new programming language.

Features of Carbon programming Language

Some of the features of the Carbon language are as follows:

Features of Carbon programming Language

🤳Carbon is a simple language to learn. If you have previously worked with C++, you will have no trouble learning Carbon.

🤳Carbon's distinguishing characteristics are modern generics, C++ interoperability, and memory safety.

🤳Like its predecessor (C++), Carbon is intended to provide performance benefits via a low-level virtual machine ( LLVM ).

🤳Carbon can execute C++ code and vice versa.

🤳It enables code migration from C++ to Carbon.

🤳Carbon enables developers to create scalable and fast builds.

🤳The entire language is available on GitHub, where anyone can contribute to the program based on their goals and priorities.

🤳The characteristics of the Carbon language make it an appealing language to learn. Let us now examine the Carbon language's objectives.


Basically, interoperability means the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make some use of information.

A successor language, such as Carbon, must logically be compatible with its preceding language. Carbon is bidirectionally (two-way) compatible with C++, and either language can be used with the other. Let's see interoperability as an example.

This code snippet from the example code on GitHub will help you understand carbon and c++ together.

// C++ code used in both Carbon and C++:
struct Circle {
  float r;

// Carbon exposing a function for C++:
package Geometry api;
import Cpp library "circle.h";
import Math;

fn PrintTotalArea(circles: Slice(Cpp.Circle)) {
  var area: f32 = 0;
  for (c: Cpp.Circle in circles) {
    area += Math.Pi * c.r * c.r;
  Print("Total area: {0}", area);

// C++ calling Carbon:
#include <vector>
#include "circle.h"
#include "geometry.carbon.h"

auto main(int argc, char** argv) -> int {
  std::vector<Circle> circles = {{1.0}, {2.0}};
  // Carbon's `Slice` supports implicit construction from `std::vector`,
  // similar to `std::span`.
  return 0;


⭐The “package” keyword is used to declare packages.

⭐The “fn” keyword is used to declare functions.

⭐“fn Main() -> i32 {......}” is used to declare a function named main, whose return type is i32 (i.e., an integer).

⭐The “var” keyword is used to declare a variable.

⭐The above C++ code implements the geometry.carbon.h library to calculate the area of a circle given the parameters.

Let's look at the c++ program and then the same program in carbon.

C++ Code

#include <iostream>
int main() {
    // Write C++ code here
    int arr[5]={3,4,2,6,7};
    std::cout <<"Result:";
    std:: cout<< arr[3];
    return 0;



Carbon Code

package sample api;

fn Main() -> i32 {
    var arr: [i32; 5] = (3,4,2,6,7);
    return arr[3];



You can practice by yourself with the help of Online C++ Compiler for better understanding.

Goals for Interoperability

The following are the goals:

✍Mixing Carbon and C++ toolchains are supported.

✍Compatibility with the memory model of C++

✍Unexpected mappings of C++ and Carbon types

✍Allow C++ bridge code to be used in Carbon files.

✍C++ type carbon inheritance

✍Allow the use of advanced C++ features.

✍It will aid in the advancement of software and language.

✍Carbon code will be simple to write, read, and understand.

✍It will support C++ interoperability.

✍It will make the transition from C++ easier.

✍Carbon language development will be scalable and fast.

✍It supports modern operating systems, environments, and hardware architectures.

✍Carbon language will also help with testing mechanisms and practical safety.

Also check out this article - Pair in C++

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Carbon going to be the following C++?

Carbon is the successor to C++, which was made to overcome its flaws. Carbon is currently in the experimental stage and will undoubtedly be a strong contender for the C++ successor. 

What is the use of the Carbon programming language?

Carbon is intended to promote software and language evolution while creating performance-critical software. Another primary purpose is to create simple code that is easier to read, comprehend, and write.

Is Carbon language Bi-directional?

Carbon language is Bi-directional as it allows us to call C++ language code from Carbon and also Carbon language code to C++.

Who created the Carbon programming language?

Carbon was first announced in July 2022 at the CppNorth conference in Toronto by Google developer "Chandler Carruth."

Is Carbon better than C++?

Carbon almost matches the performance of C++. It aims to provide a better developer experience. This is because Carbon reduces existing libraries' tech debt and makes extending those libraries easier.


We have discussed Using Carbon and C++ code together. To learn more about Carbon and C++visit these links to understand more clearly.

I hope you have gained a better understanding of these topics now! Are you planning to ace the interviews with reputed product-based companies like AmazonGoogleMicrosoft, and more? Attempt our Online Mock Test Series on Coding Ninjas Studio now!

Happy learning!

Topics covered
Carbon Programming Language
Carbon vs. C++
Features of Carbon programming Language
C++ Code
Carbon Code
Goals for Interoperability
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Carbon going to be the following C++?
What is the use of the Carbon programming language?
Is Carbon language Bi-directional?
Who created the Carbon programming language?
Is Carbon better than C++?